I think we should bear in mind here that St. Louis-Marie in this part of the True Devotion is writing of one proficient in its practice. To live in Mary denotes a stage of the spiritual life that is the result of co-operating with many graces. In itself it is a special grace from the Holy Ghost. Montfort already had indicated this in the True Devotion. ‘As the essential part of this devotion consists in the interior state of the soul which it must form, it will not be equally understood by everyone. Some – and by far the greater number – will stop at the exterior and go no further. Some – but few will penetrate to the interior, but they will reach only the first degree. Who will reach the second? Who will reach the third? Finally, who will remain in it as in a permanent state? He alone to whom the Spirit of Jesus Christ will reveal this secret.’
Now Montfort reminds us of this truth. ‘But how difficult it is for sinners such as we are to have the permission, the ability, & the light to enter a spot so high and so holy; a spot guarded not by a cherub, as was the first earthly paradise, but by the Holy Ghost Himself, Who has made Himself absolute Master of it & says of Mary: Hortus conclusus, soror mea sponsa, hortus conclusus, fons signatus. Mary is closed, Mary is sealed. The wretched children of Adam and Eve, driven from the earthly paradise, can enter this new Paradise only by a special grace of the Holy Ghost, which they must merit.’
We prepare ourselves that God may be placed to grant us this grace by our persevering in the way of Mary. ‘After we have obtained this singular grace by our fidelity.’
…we now ask Our Blessed Lady to guard the grace of God in our soul. Being consecrated to her, we must seriously recommend this to her. We want the grace of God in our soul to be guarded by her charity, her purity, her humility and other virtues.
Instead of trusting in ourselves when temptations arise we turn immediately to the Blessed Virgin.
As the practice of the True Devotion develops, the soul is taken up with the idea of being ‘in’ Mary. She is our ‘Tower of David’, our ‘Tower of Ivory’, our ‘House of Gold’ in which we place ourselves. The interior life is fostered in that atmosphere of Mary.
The Immaculate Way